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Wind companies may rethink wind farms; Companies, property owners dislike new rule

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It was standing room only at a meeting that rarely draws a crowd. The Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission approved a wind energy ordinance has both landowners and turbine companies concerned.

Tippecanoe County originally proposed having wind turbines set 1,000 feet from a landowner's dwelling. Property owners said that rule limits renovations and building other structures on their property. They want to see the wind turbines place a thousand feet from the property line instead.

Wind energy companies said that change will leave too little land for turbines.

Commissioner David Byers suggested the amendment to set wind turbines back 1,200 feet from a non-participating landowner's house and 750 feet from non-participating landowner's property. The commission approved that ordinance nine votes to one. Byers explained it benefits both parties.

"Smaller dwellings more space, yet we are allowing the companies to work with more property," he said during Wednesday night's meeting.

Two wind energy company representatives told the commission it is not enough space for the number of turbines they hoped to put up.

"The number of turbines in our preliminary... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It was standing room only at a meeting that rarely draws a crowd. The Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission approved a wind energy ordinance has both landowners and turbine companies concerned.

Tippecanoe County originally proposed having wind turbines set 1,000 feet from a landowner's dwelling. Property owners said that rule limits renovations and building other structures on their property. They want to see the wind turbines place a thousand feet from the property line instead.

Wind energy companies said that change will leave too little land for turbines.

Commissioner David Byers suggested the amendment to set wind turbines back 1,200 feet from a non-participating landowner's house and 750 feet from non-participating landowner's property. The commission approved that ordinance nine votes to one. Byers explained it benefits both parties.

"Smaller dwellings more space, yet we are allowing the companies to work with more property," he said during Wednesday night's meeting.

Two wind energy company representatives told the commission it is not enough space for the number of turbines they hoped to put up.

"The number of turbines in our preliminary layout that would have been affected would be approximately half," Invenergy Wind representative Greg Leuchtmann told the board. Invenergy Wind is hoping to have a wind farm in the south part of the county.

Performance Services has a $115 million wind farm in the works in northern Tippecanoe County. Vice President Scott Zigmond said one reason the company choose Tippecanoe was because of the original ordinance. Zigmond said Performance Services had planned on putting turbines 500 feet from non-participating land owners homes. The new ordinance could eliminate between five to ten turbines.

"That extra 250 feet would actually add cost to the project as well," Zigmond told the commission.

For over an hour, county residents explain their position on the ordinance to the commission. Some said they wanted turbines on their property for financial reasons and others said they wanted them because they provide clean energy. A.J. Booher told the board about his sister who is hoping to get two turbines on her property in the north part of the county.

"By moving that from a 500 feet set back to a 750 feet set back, that would drop her from two turbines, to one turbine," Booher explained.

Attorney Kevin Riley represented 12 residents in Tippecanoe County who are asking for at least 1,000 feet set back from their property lines. He said it's for health and safety reasons.

"If one of those towers collapses, if one of those blades detaches, breaks, flies off, a 1,000 feet buffer is not an unreasonable request," Riley told the board. "They are simply asking that the interest of non-participating owners be protected and accounted for and it is our position that the 1,000 feet set back proposed before this board does just that."

Now the ordinance will go before the county commissioners, Lafayette and West Lafayette City Councils and the Town Councils for Battle Ground, Clarks Hill and Dayton for approval.

Both wind energy companies will have to go over plans and make changes to see how exactly they will be affected with the new ordinance.


Source: http://www.wlfi.com/dpp/on_...

JUL 22 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/27354-wind-companies-may-rethink-wind-farms-companies-property-owners-dislike-new-rule
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